Renowned artist Jeram Patel’s rare and seminal works are currently being showcased at the Palette Art Gallery in Delhi. The captivating exhibition, titled “A Reconstruct,” offers a unique insight into Patel’s artistic journey, featuring 28 curated works spanning from the 1960s to 2016.
Jeram Patel, fondly known as Jeram Bhai, was a maestro who embraced experimentation, particularly with the blowtorch on wood medium. He led a simple life in Vadodara and was one of the founders of ‘Group 1980,’ a collective that emphasized the reality of the image rather than the image of reality. Their manifesto showcased a commitment to pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.
Originally planned for 2006 or 2007, “A Reconstruct” faced an unexpected setback when Patel fell ill, leading to its cancellation. However, now, in its current manifestation, the exhibition takes viewers through different rooms in chronological order, providing a comprehensive retelling of Patel’s artistic narrative.
Walking through the exhibition, one cannot help but wonder why Patel never explicitly identified as an abstractionist. His ink-on-paper works beckon the viewer to imagine and construct forms within their minds. Patel’s obsession with the color black becomes evident, as it is extensively used, creating an enchanting aura that distinguishes his works from others.
One standout piece from the exhibition is a blowtorch-on-laminated-wood artwork from 1960, which appears as if light is radiating from it, showcasing Patel’s mastery over technique. The artist learned this method, also known as “Shou Sugi Ban” in Japanese, during his time in Japan and later pioneered it in India, making it a hallmark of his practice. By rejecting color and representation, Patel’s early works relied on the natural rendering of burnt wood, underscoring his dedication to material and the elimination of form.
Jeram Patel’s artistic journey, as reconstructed in this exhibition, reveals a nuanced exploration of medium, technique, and form. The exhibition is open at the Palette Art Gallery until February 17. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the evolution of a true artistic genius..